Doctors: Cancer Drug Prices 'Astronomical,' Unethical
More than 100 sign piece decrying costs to patients
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Apr 25, 2013 3:20 PM CDT
Cancer drugs have become unreasonably expensive, some doctors argue.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – More than 100 cancer specialists from more than 15 countries are joining together to call for lower drug prices, suggesting that the current prices—which can range as high as $138,000 a year—are unconscionably high, and could be seen as profiteering. "Advocating for lower drug prices is a necessity to save the lives of patients," they write in a commentary for the journal Blood. Given that drugs are necessary to save lives, they cannot simply be priced based on what the market will bear, the doctors argue.

The piece focuses on drugs treating myeloid leukemia, which is the specialists' area of expertise, the New York Times reports, but the same arguments apply to other drug costs. While the debate over pricing is a familiar one, it's unusual to see so many physicians banding together to tackle it. The group proposes to foster a dialogue about lowering prices "by organizing regular meetings, involving all parties concerned."

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Showing 3 of 58 comments
DESTRO
Apr 26, 2013 2:15 PM CDT
Very interested to see what happens with this. On one hand, these pharma companies are taking on tons of risk in developing drugs and should be able to gain a profit + charge what they want. On the other hand, is it ethical/right for these companies to charge "too high" of an amount for it? You also risk decentivizing these pharma companies to make the drugs by controlling how much they can charge.
Odaecom
Apr 26, 2013 1:41 PM CDT
Hey Newser it's stories like this that make me want a option in the "your take on this story " to be "sarcastically surprised."
ProfessorPoonquest
Apr 26, 2013 8:48 AM CDT
HOW ABOUT TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE ONLY PLANT THAT NATURALLY CULTIVATES ON EVERY SINGLE CONTINENT ON THE PLANET?? FREE 100% ORGANIC CURE TO CANCER. MARIJUANA. LEGALIZE IT AND QUIT ALLOWING YOURSELF TO BE SUPPRESSED